Beechdean party at Baku World Challenge

Monday, November 03, 2014

Having already qualified in P5 The Aston Martin Racing pairing of Jonny Adam and Andy Soucek were in buoyant mood for a good result going into the Qualification Race having shown very good pace in all three qualification periods the day before despite the slippery conditions.

With Soucek starting the first race of the day (Qualification Race) their aim would be simple - use his previous circuit/race experience to avoid any early carnage and see what happens. And that he did, taking the rolling start on the now dry and dusty track into the first chicane, gaining one position in the process as pandemonium broke out with the cars behind a couple corners later.

With the Safety Car being deployed for that first lap incident the majority of Soucek's half hour stint was destroyed with little/no progress being available to him. By the time the #107 car emerged from its compulsory pit stop with Adam at the wheel they would have moved up to P3 and come the end of the race and having capitalised upon another's car's misfortune allowing the Beechdean GT3 to finish on the podium in second position. Great result!

With the starting order for the Main race being determined by the previous finishing results it would be Jonny Adam's turn to start the second one hour race of the day from P2 on the grid behind the #1 WRT Audi R8.

On the rolling start Adam was (technically) in the lead of the race as he crossed the start line ahead of the pole sitting Audi but having the inside line to the first chicane the Audi was soon able to re-establish its position on track. Despite this missed opertunity Adam was able to closely follow the Audi, putting it under intense pressure at some points looking for a way past (that wasn't to come). At no point during his stint was Adam more than a second behind.

The team's plan was to pit as late as possible and try and use track position to their advantage, however a miscommunication meant that Adam pitted somewhat earlier than expected leaving the pit lane team on the back foot. By the time Soucek emerged from pit lane the car would have lost seven seconds to the leader.

With some more brazen driving mannerisms to that of the leader Soucek was soon able to half the gap to the #1 Audi but his progress back up the rear of the Audi was only halted by the clock and the team had to 'settle' for another second place podium position of the day and a €50,000 prize fund to boot.

“It just shows the strength of Beechdean AMR that we can join the Blancpain Sprint Series and perform so well from the offset,” said Beechdean AMR Team Owner Andrew Howard. “It was a great job by Jonny, Andy and the team all weekend. I couldn’t be happier.”

Later came confirmation that this two event 'exercise' was a precursor to further factory supported GT3 events in 2015 in series including British GT, Blancpain and ELMS.

Photo Credits - Blancpain
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